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Re: Yahoo is Tracking Group Members

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  • David K. Smith
    Garth-- All quite true. There are tons of data on each of us. However, for those who are upset by this, bear a few things in mind. First, unless we revert back
    Message 1 of 14 , Jan 3, 2009
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      Garth--

      All quite true. There are tons of data on each of us. However, for
      those who are upset by this, bear a few things in mind.

      First, unless we revert back to keeping our greebacks under the
      mattress, modern life requires quite a bit of personal data to be
      stored and used.

      Second, 99.9% of "tracking" data is not used in a malicious way; it's
      the folks who don't have their compuers protected who should be
      worrying--they unwittingly help drive the data black market with
      their "zombie" computers acting as accomplices for the evildoers.
      It's unsettling to think that most spam and data theft schemes
      are "powered" by innocent people who just don't have a clue about
      their own computers, and leave them running unprotected 24/7.

      Third, the concept of "big brother" should really only scare people
      who have something to hide. True, on rare occasion some innocent Joe
      gets his life turned inside out by mistake, but people stand a much
      better chance of being killed in a car accident.

      Fourth, based on observations I've made of some data-keepers,
      our "secrets" are quite safe because they are in the hands of dimwits
      who haven't a clue how to manage the data they have--not to mention
      they have entirely too much data to manage in the first place. Safety
      in numbers!

      I used to lay awake nights fretting over my charge card number
      being "out there" for someone to misuse. But, I keep my compter very
      well protected, and I'm extremely mindful of the sites where I make
      transactions, and over time I've gotten over my fears. Beyond that,
      if someone is "following" me as I surf the web, well, I cannot for
      the life of me imagine how this information could be exploited
      maliciously. The WWW is in such a constant state of flux that half
      the sites I've visited are probably gone, and the others are pretty
      darned boring!

      A friend of mine used to joke, "Just because you're paranoid doesn't
      mean they're not watching." But seriously, aside from taking the
      standard precautions against identity theft, I pretty much just
      ignore everything else and carry on. If someone wants to know were I
      surf, or what message boards I frequent, well, good luck to them
      trying to figure out how to take advantage of that information.

      --David

      http://jamesriverbranch.net/
      http://1-220.blogspot.com/


      --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, Garth Hamilton <garthah@...> wrote:
      >
      >
      >
      > It isn't just Yahoo that is doing this and this has been going on
      for
      > years. We get free services from any organization that can find out
      > about our habits and sell that information to others for marketing.
      > If you have a Norton total security package that is all inclusive
      > they will delete these web beacons and tracking cookies from your
      > system as often as your specify or as soon as they appear. If you
      > monitor the output from your computer you can see when your
      computer
      > tries to contact the internet and can block these devices from
      > passing their information. This feature is built into Windows XP
      and
      > Vista remember when you are asked each time something runs if you
      > really want to do this. Many of us get ticked as this and don't pay
      > attention to it and just say yes each time. There are other
      packages
      > that do a similar job some better than others. You can also build a
      > proxy server or subscribe to one of the cloaking services that
      hides
      > your actual IP from all sites you visit.
      >
      > But if you are that worried about such things you would be
      horrified
      > about what information the various credit bureaus hold on you. To
      > avoid tracking you have to start by running totally by cash, no
      > credit, no bank, no credit cards, no postal address, no federal tax
      > account, no doctors office visits, no dentist office visits, no
      > organized work where you receive a pay check no contact with the
      > police, no passport, no drivers license, don't attend school, don't
      > have your birth recorded, live so remote you are not included in a
      > census, don;'t fly, don't ride a train don't have a social
      insurance
      > number etc etc etc
      >
      > Get over it because everything you do in live to interact with
      others
      > leaves a trail that someone can and do record and track. Most of us
      > are totally unaware of all the data collection that goes on about
      us
      > and are horrified when we discover it. From the day you entered
      this
      > world people have been saving data on you. The older you get the
      > bigger the pile of data that is amassed gets.
      >
      > Happy New Year
      > all big brother is still watching
      >
      > Garth
      >
    • Alan Cox
      ... Do you define malicious as charging you different amounts for the same product according to a mathematic model of your income I certainly prefer them to
      Message 2 of 14 , Jan 3, 2009
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        > Second, 99.9% of "tracking" data is not used in a malicious way; it's

        Do you define malicious as "charging you different amounts for
        the same product according to a mathematic model of your income"

        I certainly prefer them to have poor or invalid data so they can't screw
        me.

        > Third, the concept of "big brother" should really only scare people
        > who have something to hide. True, on rare occasion some innocent Joe
        > gets his life turned inside out by mistake, but people stand a much
        > better chance of being killed in a car accident.

        Please cite the statistical data you are using. I don't believe you, and
        if you knew someone with the same name as someone on the US idiot no-fly
        list you'd have different views I think.

        > Fourth, based on observations I've made of some data-keepers,
        > our "secrets" are quite safe because they are in the hands of dimwits
        > who haven't a clue how to manage the data they have--not to mention
        > they have entirely too much data to manage in the first place. Safety
        > in numbers!

        Those are the people who lose copies of all their data and post it
        unencrypted on CD and lose them (like the UK government...)

        > I used to lay awake nights fretting over my charge card number
        > being "out there" for someone to misuse. But, I keep my compter very
        > well protected, and I'm extremely mindful of the sites where I make
        > transactions, and over time I've gotten over my fears. Beyond that,

        (some real statistics for you: more card fraud occurs by phone than
        internet - because the phone ordering involves a human paid minimum wage
        having all your details. Internet retailers go to huge lengths to keep
        card numbers and info from ever being in the hands of an employee.
        Companies that do electronic card handling are also subject to regular
        security audits and a strict security policy from the card companies).

        > if someone is "following" me as I surf the web, well, I cannot for
        > the life of me imagine how this information could be exploited
        > maliciously.

        The advertisers use it to build an exact profile of you to optimise their
        advertising but also in some cases to change the prices you are offered.
        Its the electronic equivalent of the rule about going to buy electronic
        goods or a car looking shabby, and never wearing a suit when you are
        going to haggle.

        Fraudsters and scammers don't generally have access to the same data sets
        (although obviously when there are leaks...). They often work off public
        data however - names of relatives and parents etc

        Find a person who runs a business
        Get the business address
        Look em up on facebook
        Build a map of their relatives
        Find their mothers family if at all possible
        Get the mothers maiden name

        At that point you've typically got enough to scam a bank account or a
        hire purchase (although companies have gotten a lot more careful).

        A recent and even more evil variant of this involves using a cheque to get
        a persons account details, picking up name and address information from
        them (easy if its an order you lifted) then transferring money to the
        persons account. A common bank authentication approach when you phone up
        and forget passwords etc will be

        "Name" blah
        "Date of birth" blah off facebook
        "Mothers maiden name" blah off facebook
        "Can you tell me one of your most recent transactions"
        "Certainly ...." (give details of xfer from another stolen acct
        into this one)

        Some of the scammers are very very clever and there is an ongoing battle
        between the banks, business world and scammers to invent new techniques.

        Alan
      • David K. Smith
        OK, then, I suppose I d better batten down the hatches and be prepared for the worst! Clearly I ve underestimated the hostile nature of the world. --David
        Message 3 of 14 , Jan 3, 2009
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          OK, then, I suppose I'd better batten down the hatches and be
          prepared for the worst! Clearly I've underestimated the hostile
          nature of the world.

          --David

          http://jamesriverbranch.net/
          http://1-220.blogspot.com/

          --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, Alan Cox <alan@...> wrote:
          >
          > > Second, 99.9% of "tracking" data is not used in a malicious way;
          it's
          >
          > Do you define malicious as "charging you different amounts for
          > the same product according to a mathematic model of your income"
          >
          > I certainly prefer them to have poor or invalid data so they can't
          screw
          > me.
          >
          > > Third, the concept of "big brother" should really only scare
          people
          > > who have something to hide. True, on rare occasion some innocent
          Joe
          > > gets his life turned inside out by mistake, but people stand a
          much
          > > better chance of being killed in a car accident.
          >
          > Please cite the statistical data you are using. I don't believe
          you, and
          > if you knew someone with the same name as someone on the US idiot
          no-fly
          > list you'd have different views I think.
          >
          > > Fourth, based on observations I've made of some data-keepers,
          > > our "secrets" are quite safe because they are in the hands of
          dimwits
          > > who haven't a clue how to manage the data they have--not to
          mention
          > > they have entirely too much data to manage in the first place.
          Safety
          > > in numbers!
          >
          > Those are the people who lose copies of all their data and post it
          > unencrypted on CD and lose them (like the UK government...)
          >
          > > I used to lay awake nights fretting over my charge card number
          > > being "out there" for someone to misuse. But, I keep my compter
          very
          > > well protected, and I'm extremely mindful of the sites where I
          make
          > > transactions, and over time I've gotten over my fears. Beyond
          that,
          >
          > (some real statistics for you: more card fraud occurs by phone than
          > internet - because the phone ordering involves a human paid minimum
          wage
          > having all your details. Internet retailers go to huge lengths to
          keep
          > card numbers and info from ever being in the hands of an employee.
          > Companies that do electronic card handling are also subject to
          regular
          > security audits and a strict security policy from the card
          companies).
          >
          > > if someone is "following" me as I surf the web, well, I cannot
          for
          > > the life of me imagine how this information could be exploited
          > > maliciously.
          >
          > The advertisers use it to build an exact profile of you to optimise
          their
          > advertising but also in some cases to change the prices you are
          offered.
          > Its the electronic equivalent of the rule about going to buy
          electronic
          > goods or a car looking shabby, and never wearing a suit when you are
          > going to haggle.
          >
          > Fraudsters and scammers don't generally have access to the same
          data sets
          > (although obviously when there are leaks...). They often work off
          public
          > data however - names of relatives and parents etc
          >
          > Find a person who runs a business
          > Get the business address
          > Look em up on facebook
          > Build a map of their relatives
          > Find their mothers family if at all possible
          > Get the mothers maiden name
          >
          > At that point you've typically got enough to scam a bank account or
          a
          > hire purchase (although companies have gotten a lot more careful).
          >
          > A recent and even more evil variant of this involves using a cheque
          to get
          > a persons account details, picking up name and address information
          from
          > them (easy if its an order you lifted) then transferring money to
          the
          > persons account. A common bank authentication approach when you
          phone up
          > and forget passwords etc will be
          >
          > "Name" blah
          > "Date of birth" blah off facebook
          > "Mothers maiden name" blah off facebook
          > "Can you tell me one of your most recent transactions"
          > "Certainly ...." (give details of xfer from another stolen
          acct
          > into this one)
          >
          > Some of the scammers are very very clever and there is an ongoing
          battle
          > between the banks, business world and scammers to invent new
          techniques.
          >
          > Alan
          >
        • Larry Card
          ... I would prefer not to have the police search through my underwear drawer without a warrant, not because I have something to hide but simply because it s
          Message 4 of 14 , Jan 3, 2009
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            > Third, the concept of "big brother" should really only scare people
            > who have something to hide.

            I would prefer not to have the police search through my underwear drawer without a warrant, not because I have something to hide but simply because it's none of their business what's in there. Likewise, the concept of big brother keeping an eye on me "just because" bothers me, not because I have something to hide but because it's none of their damn business what I'm doing or how I'm spending my time, as long as I am not bringing physical or financial harm to anyone through force or fraud.

            It also bothers me that not more people are bothered by that.

            > Fourth, based on observations I've made of some data-keepers,
            > our "secrets" are quite safe because they are in the hands of dimwits
            > who haven't a clue how to manage the data they have--not to mention
            > they have entirely too much data to manage in the first place. Safety
            > in numbers!

            Which is why you have those very same dimwits putting your personal information on laptops, which they then take home, which are then stolen out of their cars, and then your personal information belongs to some hacker or ID thief. I wouldn't call that exactly safe, and it's another good reason to be bothered by "big brother" watching you. FWIW, my personal information has had the opportunity to be lost in exactly that way, once through the US Navy and once through the VA, within a 3 year span.

            > if someone is "following" me as I surf the web, well, I cannot for
            > the life of me imagine how this information could be exploited
            > maliciously.

            But those who would exploit you maliciously have all sorts of ideas, and a very good imagination. Ten years ago we couldn't fathom the World Trade Center towers 1 and 2 being taken down by jet airliners...but someone else could. We couldn't imagine what someone would do with our information because we wouldn't be so inclined to be malicious with someone else's information. Others aren't so magnanamous.

            > surf, or what message boards I frequent, well, good luck to them
            > trying to figure out how to take advantage of that information.

            Luck has nothing to do with it.

            V/R
            Larry P. Card
            Franklinton NC

            _________________________________________________________________
            Life on your PC is safer, easier, and more enjoyable with Windows Vista®.
            http://clk.atdmt.com/MRT/go/127032870/direct/01/

            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Larry Card
            ... And sometimes even that doesn t work... V/R Larry P. Card Franklinton NC _________________________________________________________________ Life on your PC
            Message 5 of 14 , Jan 3, 2009
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              > Now days you have to be dead to be forgotten.........nice combo eh?

              And sometimes even that doesn't work...
              V/R
              Larry P. Card
              Franklinton NC

              _________________________________________________________________
              Life on your PC is safer, easier, and more enjoyable with Windows Vista®.
              http://clk.atdmt.com/MRT/go/127032870/direct/01/

              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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